Oh Warrington, you pesky little scamps. You don’t like doing things the easy way, do you?
We should know better, we really should.
We bang on enough about how long we’ve been watching Wire and lecturing on what we should and shouldn’t expect by now, but we still had most of this intro set out before most of you had tucked into your first chocolate egg.
(Old Red Robbo says you can’t call them Easter Eggs these days in case you offend a Pakistani. It’s political correctness gone mad, Stew.)*
Two routine, if unremarkable wins, we said – we were expecting – with a weakened squad that featured only three recognised props all weekend (and all three of them starting in one game), the first time we’ve picked up maximum points over Easter since Labour were in charge and a favourable fixture in that traditionally tricky ‘third’ game next week.
All while teams around and just above us drop points.
We’d have taken that a few weeks ago.
We’d take it now, of course, but we’d look silly if we just left the bit in about two routine victories after we tried our best to proper ‘Warrington’ things up against Huddersfield in the last minute.
It took a Danny Brough missed conversion to save the points for us, but regular readers must know our catchphrase by now.
After the opening six weeks to the season we’ve had, we’re grateful for any points we pick up, and while the level of performances against both Widnes and Huddersfield were far below what anybody wants to see, the results are all that matter at the minute.
Especially when so many of us travelled over to Shelbyville on Thursday genuinely expecting the Chemics to be on their usual cup final levels of motivation and that, no matter how bad Fartown are this year, it’s not a patch on how dreadful they were back in the late 90s and early 2000s when their annual trip to Wilderspool would often be their easiest – and sometimes only – two points of the season.
We had to put up with another rough tussle to ensure the Wire FM Annual Tin Pot Trophy won’t be residing on the smelly side of Penketh this year.
Not that we fucking claim it – it’s oddly sort of nicer to keep them quiet rather than proper celebrate beating them isn’t it?
Shuts them up for a few months anyway.
Not that they were particularly noisy this year – the game was played in a weird atmosphere; less poisonous than usual. They didn’t even bother to reel out their famous banners this year and half of our end seemed more interested in playing with buckets than watching the bottom two teams in the league slog it out on the astroturf at Naughton Park.
It definitely wasn’t a great advert for the game, nor was it a great spectacle for the neutral, but it may have been one for the purists, depending on what the purists are into this year.
Pick your cliché: It was a shit game, played out by two shit teams, we just weren’t as shit as them.
In fairness, with such a young, lightweight pack, it was a good win against a team that always ‘fronts up’, if nothing else.
Savellio and Julien put in some big minutes, while Hughes was good again. He runs a good line off his half backs and goes through some work in defence. Nothing extravagant, but useful and often unrewarded. And very necessary.
Sims was unspectacularly decent again, keeping his offloads to a minimum and focussing instead on hard graft up the middle, while Chris Hill did what Chris Hill does and lead from the front.
George King was another who ‘put a shift in’, as they say, and did not look out of place at all against a bigger, more experienced pack and Harvey Livvet went well.
Another youngster, another unspectacular stint, but he was solid and had a good sixty seconds in particular, where he swept up a grubber kick, managed to get out of the in-goal area and finished the set off with a decent touch finding kick that cleared our lines well.
He seemed to fill in a few positions while he was on – back row, halves and centre – and did well. He opened the scoring against Huddersfield, too, and can only improve with game time. He provides good cover for a number of positions and Smith obviously has more faith in him than the more experienced Matty Blythe.
Again, on the back of this, ‘our Dec’ showed some good ‘game management’ skills, knocking over a timely drop goal before the break and nudging some good kicks ‘around the park’.
Mainly in the first half.
We were awful with the ball in the second, but his penalty goal took his personal tally to seven points for the night and took the game just beyond what Widnes could have been capable of coming back from, thus killing their confidence.
Pleasingly, again, they scored first and we didn’t start very well, but rather than see heads drop and balls being thrown out of arses, we kept it simple, kept it tight and fought our way back into the game.
Ok, we had a bit of luck with the Julien try, but again, fuck ‘em.
So, we’ll take the four points.
Which takes up to a total of seven for the year and we should, should, should beat Wakefield on Saturday, before our return fixtures against Hull – who look out of sorts in recent weeks – and Saints who, well, are Saints.
Those fixtures seem a lot more winnable now than they did a month ago – mainly on the back of the second half of the Hull game and the first of the Leeds game, but there’s definitely some belief and balls about this Warrington team now.
The departure of Cunningham, whether he was sacked or resigned, is a perfect example of why we at Piss Towers don’t really want to see Lee Briers given the top job at Wire.
All that history, that long association with one club, the status of genuine club legend, one of the best to ever pull on the shirt – make no mistake, Cunningham is rightfully considered by the Saints club in very high regard, but an entire generation of fans will only remember him as the bloke who had them playing awful rugby and made excuses every time they lost.
It was heart breaking when Cullen went, no matter how necessary his removal from the post was. We couldn’t go through that again with Briers.
*No it isn’t and yes, you can call them Easter Eggs. Stop believing the Daily Mail. It’s fucking toilet roll. Top marks if you get the joke, though. If you do, get in touch, we’d probably like you to write for us.
**We’re sorry if our language offends anyone. If it does, we hope you never have the misfortune of standing near any of us at the game. We literally say ‘fuck’ every other fucking word.